There are a few warning signs that may indicate that your child is in contact with an online predator. Remember that each one of these signs by itself does not necessarily indicate that there is a problem, but a few of these may be a sign of a problem.
- Spends a lot of time online especially at late hours. Children on-line are at the greatest risk during the evening hours. While offenders are on-line around the clock, most work during the day and spend their evenings on-line trying to locate and lure children or seeking pornography.
- You find pornographic materials on the computer. Child pornography may be used to show the victim that sex between children and adults is “normal.”
- Receives phone calls, mail, gifts from people you do not know
- Withdraws from normal activity
- Switches screen quickly when you approach, or turns the monitor off.
- Uses other accounts for e-mail or Instant Messaging
If your kids do meet an online predator, don’t blame them. It’s always the offender’s responsibility. Take decisive action to stop your child from any further contact with this person.